As an online companion to our December ingredient feature on vanilla, Heritage restaurant's mixologist, partner Mattias Hägglund, shares a recipe for a fall-flavored cocktail that makes good use of vanilla bean pods. Try it with the pound cake recipe from Heritage chef/partner Joe Sparatta. Fans of HBO's Game of Thrones series should appreciate Hägglund's inspiration for this concoction. "I think it's a really fun, approachable fall-flavored drink," he says. "After all, winter is coming."
- 1 1/2 ounces of Buffalo Trace bourbon
- 1 ounce of local apple cider ("Good, local apple cider makes all the difference in the world," Hägglund says. "The usual grocery store variety just doesn't even compare.")
- 1/2 ounce of cinnamon-vanilla syrup (see below)
- 1/2 ounce of fresh lemon juice
- 2 dashes of Angostura bitters
Measure the ingredients into a cocktail shaker, then add ice and shake well. Strain the contents into a glass and grate cinnamon on top.
- 2 sticks of cinnamon
- 1 split vanilla bean, seeds reserved for another use (such as Joe Sparatta's Vanilla Bean and Almond Pound Cake)
- 1 cup of water
- 1 cup of sugar
Take 2 sticks of cinnamon and toast them lightly to bring out their aromatics. Grind them with a mortar and pestle and set aside. Next, take the two halves of the vanilla bean pod and cut them into a few pieces. Put the pieces in a pan with 1 cup of water and bring to a simmer. Once simmering, add the cinnamon, followed by 1 cup of sugar. Stir until the sugar is dissolved, then remove the mixture from the heat and pour it through a fine strainer. Allow it to cool and keep it refrigerated. The syrup should keep for 2 to 3 weeks.